Tea of the week: Twinings Assam

This weekend one of my cousins (and many of my friends) is (are) going back up to University. This leads me on to my choice of tea: Twinings Assam is a good, strong tea. It’ll pick you up when you’re knackered, or add lots of milk and sugar for a really strong-but-soothing cup. And it’s a good tea to share with people – I used to give people this when they asked for “… normal tea?” (when faced with my enormous tea collection) and it always did the trick.

Source: I bought this box of Twinings tea in a supermarket somewhere … I can’t recall which. No pictures of the box as it was a very long time ago – I’ve only got about 4 teabags left 😦 I’ll have to replace it … I’m thinking probably with this Clipper Fairtrade Organic Assam, because I’m now trying to buy Fairtrade tea wherever possible.

Cost: £2.60 for 50 teabags (which I believe is 125g, from having looked at Twinings teas in Tesco), or £1.80 for 125g loose leaf. You can buy online (it’s under Speciality Black Tea) or from any large supermarket.

Ethics: I can’t find any information. (Hence I’m going to be replacing this tea with a Fairtrade one).

Brewing instructions: Their website says to brew for 3-5 minutes with boiling water … I think 2-3 is enough. I suspect that if you’re going to add milk it doesn’t make too much of a difference, although if you’re going to have it without milk you might need to experiment.

Appearance: It goes through several colours to a final glorious red-mahogany colour …

<– beautiful.

… and then you realise that you were going to add milk anyway, and it starts to look decidedly boring:

But oh well.

(By the way, I think that this is totally the wrong sort of tea to drink from a glass mug … it looks poncy somehow … but I wanted to show you the glorious redness).

Nose: it smells warm, slightly honeyed, and malty. Mmmm, tea …

Taste: in 3 parts:

a) without milk: it tastes malty but also slightly bitter and possibly even sour. I do make this knowing that I am going to add milk … I suspect you could brew it so that it’s nice to drink without milk; this particular cup wasn’t.

b) with milk – no longer bitter or sour. It tastes full-bodied and slightly malty, and there’s also a taste at the back of the tongue that I really can’t describe except as ‘Assam’. The taste is a single note, due to the fact that it’s all from the same region (i.e. Assam).

c) with milk and sugar – now you’re talking comfort in a cup. Warm, full-bodied, lingering, strong, sweet, and still singing that one note (with a side harmony of sweetness – golden caster sugar goes particularly well for the slight caramel-ness).

Food match: This can stand up to many foods. I’d drink it with biscuits of any sort (except savoury), or toast spread with something not-too-savoury (e.g. toast with butter / jam / peanut butter). Mmmmm.

Is anybody able to describe that extra flavour as something better than ‘Assam-flavoured’? Comments very welcome 🙂

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3 Responses to Tea of the week: Twinings Assam

  1. Philip says:

    I do rather like this tea (I am drinking some right now, in fact). Twinings are apparently part of the “Ethical Tea Partnership” (http://www.ethicalteapartnership.com/), so I guess they do at least have some sort of policy on the matter.

  2. Pingback: Tea Tea Tea … a retrospective | Eudoxia Friday : Thoughtful Eclecticism

  3. Pingback: Tea of the Week – Clipper Assam with Vanilla | Eudoxia Friday : Thoughtful Eclecticism

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